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Hyderabad’s Tenure as Joint Capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Ends

On 2 June 2024, the city of Hyderabad officially ceases to be the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This milestone marks the end of a ten-year period during which Hyderabad served as the shared capital for the two states.

In 2014, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act was passed by the Parliament of India under Article 3 of the Constitution. This Act led to the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, resulting in the creation of Telangana as the 29th state of India.

Status of Hyderabad

Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014, Hyderabad, the capital of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, was designated as the common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of ten years, starting on 2 June 2014.

The Act, in Section 5(1), explicitly stated that Hyderabad would remain the shared capital for a decade. Section 5(2) further mandated the establishment of a new capital for Andhra Pradesh after this period, upon which Hyderabad would become the sole capital of Telangana.

Andhra Pradesh’s New Capital

In the aftermath of the Reorganisation Act, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs appointed a committee, headed by K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, to “Study the Alternatives for a New Capital for the State of Andhra Pradesh.” The committee recommended Amaravati as the new capital for Andhra Pradesh.

Accepting this recommendation, the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly passed the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act (APCRDA), 2014, which designated Amaravati as the new capital of the state.

However, in 2019, the newly elected Jagan Mohan Reddy government repealed the APCRDA Act and passed the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020. This bill proposed Visakhapatnam as the executive capital, Amaravati as the legislative capital, and Kurnool as the judicial capital of Andhra Pradesh, with the aim of promoting inclusive development across the state.

High Court Judgment

The decentralization bill was challenged in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which ruled in 2022 that it was unconstitutional, as the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 provided for only one capital for the state. The High Court ordered the government to develop Amaravati as the sole capital city within six months.

The Andhra Pradesh government has challenged the High Court’s judgment in the Supreme Court, and the matter is currently pending before the apex court.

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